Walmart Workers Record Themselves Smashing iPads In Store [Video] UPDATED
Updated, Nov. 12, 11.30 a.m.
Walmart has had some trouble with its employees lately, with accusations of union intimidation, sex discrimination, and wage violations, among others. Some workers are planning a huge strike on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the biggest shopping day of the year. Others just went into the back room of their store, recorded themselves smashing iPads, and uploaded the video to YouTube Thursday. That prank cost those employees' their jobs.
One Walmart associate at a Pikeville, Ky., Supercenter begins the video, which was posted online Thursday, with the preface: "This is why you don't buy an iPad from Walmart." Another associate then throws two packaged iPads, to a third associate, who catches them. The third iPad gets hurled to the floor, and then dropped, while the fourth is lobbed too hard and lands with a crash.
"Wow, that motherf*****'s broke," says the narrator.
iPads currently retail at Walmart for $399, which means that at an average hourly wage of $8.83, it would take a Walmart associate 45 hours of labor to earn enough money (even before taxes) to buy one.
a starting salary of $14 a day (it would take them a month of work to buy one).
The associate who picked up the phone at the Pikeville store responded simply, "That situation has already been taken care of, have a nice day," before hanging up. Walmart spokeswoman Ashley Hardie confirmed over email that those associates were fired.
"We've seen the video of several nightshift associates destroying merchandise in the back of one of our stores in August and, as anyone can image [sic], it made us wince," she wrote. "We are also embarrassed."
She added that none of the merchandise has been returned since the "unfortunate incident."
The store is probably tired of the phone calls by now. A commenter on the anonymous forum Reddit claims that when she called the store, the manager told her they'd received hundreds of calls about the video, which has been watched almost 120,000 times on YouTube.
[Warning: The video below includes frequent use of profanity.]
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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